This post is written couple of days before my birthday, which is when I will be 46 years old – the age my narcissistic mother was when she died. I thought I’d be more emotional about it, considering how I felt on the anniversy of her death, but so far, I’m actually good.
So, we’ve already established that my mom – and probably yours too, was an overgrown child in an adult body. As such, impossible to have a relationship with.
One of the reasons these people are so difficult to relate to is their inability to own their own reactions and actions. I think that’s what makes them so immature.
There are two directions I would like to discuss with the concept of maturing.
The first one, growing up in general and the differences between being a child in an adult body, and actually being an adult.
The other, maturing beyond a parent (my mom) who died many years ago.
Let’s talk about the differences between being an adult child, and being an adult.
For me personally, I think the main thing with actually growing up – maturing, if you will, is the ability to own your feelings, your reactions, your actions, your issues – and not to put the weight of all that on someone else.
I also think that maturing is about being brutally honest with yourself, about short-comings, what to do to improve and be a better person, strengths and weaknesses. Know thyself, as is said in the Matrix (the original movie).
Life experience is of course another aspect of maturing. Life experience can be very different. While some claim it to be about travelling, work, having children et cetera, others would say it has more to do with understanding how life and the world functions.
My own life experience has mainly to do with survival, the differences between existing and living, in being forced into the darkest parts of myself and managing to get out. Not necessarily experiences I enjoyed, but I do appreciate what I’ve learned and I am certain it has provided me with tools to improve myself and my life, that most people don’t have.
Another point with maturing, I think, is being true to oneself (authentic – that word I dislike so much). I have gone from believing and living by the idea that I have to be what everyone else think I am, rather than being who I am, to being unable to be something and someone that I’m not. I am no longer adapting, merging, or pretending. I am being true to myself, because I can no longer imagine being anything else.
Let’s change direction and think about maturing beyond a parent’s years. My mom was 46 when she died, and I’m about to reach that age (tomorrow, from this point in time). It felt worse on the anniversery of her death. Right now, I’m quite fine with it, and learning loads of new lessons as I am approaching getting older than my mother ever got to be.
I have other reasons to learn this, but right now I am working hard on the art of letting go. I need and want to learn how to leave things behind and be free of what was, to make room for what is and what is to come.
Which in itself seems to be a sign of maturity, at least compared to my mother. She was unable to leave things behind, and collected wrong-doings and kept them close to her chest to use whenever she could to get back at people.
I don’t want to be stuck in that way. I used to be very stuck, I used to carry wrong-doings around, but I am beginning to see and understand that it doesn’t do me any good.
One thing that worried me slightly on the anniversery of her death was the issue of role models. Up til now, she’s been the role model of what I don’t want to be. With me getting older than her, that shifts a bit, and there is no real role model for anything. A month ago, this felt very strange to me, but I am actually beginning to see it as liberating instead.
All the numbers are shifting into something beyond me and my mother. She was 21 when she had me – it’s been 21 years since she died. She was 46 when she died – tomorrow is my 46th birthday, and in a few months I’ll be older than her for real. After that – the circle is closed.
Will I be free, then?
I have no idea. I suppose it depends on what I do with it. And come to think about it, I think I am going to let it all go and actually be free. Free to transform and create myself as I see fit. Make my life mine, in every way that matters.
Shit, these are really cool ideas. I never would’ve thought I’d come to think like this, but it feels really good. And the phrase find what feels good (honestly stolen from Yoga With Adriene on Youtube) is something I think I am going to live by, to the best of my ability.
It’s strange to realize that few of the Youtube videos and blog posts turn out the way I intended them. This one included.
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